The title of this poem has a lot of power. It refers to African American life in the past. By the title, you can tell that it will have a sad theme. I think that Hughes chose this title to show the struggles African Americans went through to achieve their dreams.
Dreams cannot be ignored.
I have to stop putting off my dreams!
Connotations that add to interpretation include fester, stink, sag, and explode. All of these connotations are very exaggerative and show just how important it is to pursue your dreams.
I would say that the tone of this poem is along the lines of frustration, fear, anger, and sadness. Hughes uses imagery to better express his emotion. Through the name of the poem you can also expect the tone to be of this nature.
The tone shifts at the last line of the poem. This shift makes the poem have greater intensity.
I would say that the theme of this poem is struggle.